Mandeep Singh and Harmanpreet Singh were on target for India as they upset Argentina – their 27th win against the Olympic champions – 2-1 to get their second straight win in the Champions Trophy.
Wrapping it up
Despite the 4-0 win against Pakistan, this match against the Olympic champions was India’s real test. Against Pakistan, they had defended exceedingly well, the midfield was superb, and the counter-attack – led by SV Sunil and Mandeep Singh – quick. But to repeat that in a day’s span against Argentina was always going to be tough. But Harendra and his boys did well to get their second straight win of the tournament and stay on top of the standings.
Sardar Singh on winning on his 300th international game: It’s a great moment, thanks to family, friends and Hockey India. 300 is a really proud moment. I think most of the time, we stuck to our plans. Argentina are a tough team. So there were a few mistakes we made. There’s always room for improvement. We have to work on our recovery. Really tough games ahead.
Full time: India have upset the Olympic champions 2-1. Harendra Singh and his boys have scored the second straight win of the tournament. They were under pressure in the last quarter after Lakra got a yellow card but they held on. The defence has been excellent in the past two games. They missed Ramandeep’s services in this match because of his injury. But they coped up really well and beat Argentina.
Fourth quarter, India 2-1 Argentina (less than 2 minutes to go) We are almost at the edge of our seats. SV Sunil took off on a great counterattacking run. Beat most of the defenders. The Argentinian goalie came out bravely, put pressure on Sunil to strike. He hits it wide. It’s still 2-1.
Fourth quarter, India 2-1 Argentina (less than 5 minutes to go) Birendra Lakra get a yellow card with five minutes to go. This is a crucial moment in the game for they are down to 10 men. Can the Olympic champs capitalise?
Fourth quarter, India 2-1 Argentina (less than 10 minutes to go) Argentina are looking for more circle entries to create a chance or at least get another Penalty Corner (despite the fact that Gonzalo Peillat’s been having an off day).
Fourth quarter, India 2-1 Argentina (12 minutes to go) Nervy moments. Lopez made a superb attempt, beat Sreejesh and had a shot at goal. But Varun Kumar stormed in, kept his balance and cleared the ball calmly. India swiftly counter-attacked through SV Sunil and Mandeep Singh. But couldn’t score another one.
End of third quarter, India 2-1 Argentina: The highlight of the quarter was Dilpreet’s swivel-and-hit (he’s making it his signature move) that was saved very well by ‘keeper Santiago. Then, Argentina got their fourth PC that Gonzalo Peillat couldn’t convert. He’s had an off day today.
Third quarter, India 2-1 Argentina (5 minutes to go): This has been the most unremarkable quarter so far. India, apart from one run by Sunil, haven’t come close to scoring. Argentina have been on the attack. But their penalty corner conversion hasn’t been that great today. Gonzalo Peillat misses one again. And the score remains 2-1 to India.
Third quarter, India 2-1 Argentina (10 minutes to go): Looks like there’s a little dip in India’s game. The intensity seems to have dropped a bit. The defence has been good. But there haven’t been any attacking runs in the first five minutes.
First half stats:-
End of first half, India 2-1 Argentina: India was brilliant in the second quarter. After they scored for the first time, Argentina put a lot of pressure on their defence. But they didn’t falter. They did well and even converted the next field goal opportunity that came their way. But Gonzalo Peillat’s last-minute PC has left the game wide open again. India now have only a one-goal difference and Argentina are a side that can erase that deficit in no time. Interesting quarter ahead.
GOAL! Argentina get their fourth penalty corner... and this time Gonzalo Peillat converts. He collects the injection, and strikes fiercely to Sreejesh’s top left corner. It’s too fast for the Indian goalie to stop that.
GOAL! Superb goal by India. It goes to Mandeep but the highlight of it was Dilpreet’s pass to him. He does really well to collect an aerial pass almost from the half-line mark, does a half-swivel to deceive the defenders, and passes the ball in the marrow gap between the goalie and a defender. Mandeep was just waiting for the ball to come. He just taps in and collects his second goal of the tournament.
Second quarter, India 1-0 Argentina (5 minutes to go): The ball’s been with Argentina mostly after India scored. They have constantly put pressure on the Indian defence. But the men in blue haven’t cracked. They have solidly staved off the Olympic champions’ threat. Also, Manpreet Singh is back in the field after getting hit on the leg.
Second quarter, India 1-0 Argentina (12 minutes to go): GOAL! Gonzalo Peillat had three penalty corners and missed them. Harmanpreet scores off his first (and India’s first) penalty corner of this game. Sardar Singh’s injection was good too. Harmanpreet stops and swiftly sweeps it to his right-hand side. India take a lead. This match’s about to get more exciting, fellas.
End of first quarter, India 0-0 Argentina: It’s been a really exciting first 15 minutes. But no goals so far. Towards the end, Argentina looked more threatening, creating more chances. They were more adventurous on their attack. But India, too came close to scoring with the Mandeep Singh- SV Sunil interplay. But will Manpreet’s absence hurt them? Let’s wait and watch.
First quarter, India 0-0 Argentina (5 minutes to go): Superb defence from India. Argentina get back to back penalty corners. Peillat’s fiercely struck was stopped by Manpreet Singh, who ran in straight at the ball. He got hit on the leg, was in some pain and hobbled out of the field. And there was a stop from Sreejesh too to save the next PC.
First quarter, India 0-0 Argentina (10 minutes to go): India’s so far done well against Argentina, stopping their attacks and constantly entering their circle. Almost got a penalty corner, too. It’s been an even contest so far in this game.
Here’s the Argentina line-up
3:32 pm The teams are walking out for the national anthems. Players are congratulating Sardar Singh.
3:19 pm No Ramandeep Singh in the playing XI today. Reports say that he’s out of the rest of the tournament because a swollen knee. Huge blow for India. He scored and assisted against Pakistan yesterday.
3:10 pm It will also be Sardar Singh’s 300th international match tonight. He becomes the sixth player to reach the milestone. He might not be as deadly as he used to be in the midfield but his experience, many of his teammates and coach believe, is valuable for India.
3:00 pm Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the live coverage of India’s second match of the Hockey Champions Trophy. Sreejesh and company have begun the tournament on a spectacular note with a 4-0 win over arch-rivals Pakistan. Despite what the scoreline may suggest, it was a closely fought match for the first three quarters. Today will be a lot tougher for India against the Olympic champions Argentina, who scored a 2-1 victory over hosts Netherlands yesterday.